Interview with Mr. Ozcan Torun

Face2Face
Mr. Ozcan Torun
Mr. Ozcan Torun
President
EGSD
EGSD

Ready made garment and apparel exports has a share of 12.88% in total exports.
Headquartered in Izmir- Turkey, Aegean Clothing Manufacturers’ Association (EGSD) was established by active 90 leading firms of Aegean Region related with the Clothing industry in 1992. With the aim to create a strong identity of its member companies in the sector, EGSD’s main activities involve - organizing educational activities across the sector, participating in national and international fairs, arranging business trips in Turkey and abroad to investigate new technologies, matchmaking services, informing members about new markets and innovations, connecting members with foreign companies, cooperating with universities in order to provide the skilled manpower to its members. Mr. Özcan Torun is the President of EGSD. Being into the sector of clothing since 1985, Mr. Torun has vast experience of clothing trade and its trends. Since 1981, he also owns an apparel manufacturing and exporting company that is been successfuly run as family business with the support of his wife and the only son. In his talk with Ms. Madhu Soni- Face2Face Sr. Editor and Correspondent, Mr. Ozcan Torun divulges more about Aegean textiles and clothing sector; its strengths and future potential.

Textiles had formed an industry of great cultural and economic importance for Aegean Regions, especially throughout the Bronze and early Iron ages. Is it true for present times too? How if we begin the talk with this interesting aspect about Aegean textiles, Mr. Torun?

All of the Aegean Region, especially Izmir has hosted many civilizations like the Phrygian-Hittite-Ionia-Lydia-Macedonian-Byzantine Empire, as it is lying on an advantageous location at the head of a gulf running down in a deep indentation midway on the western Anatolian coast. Due to this geographical advantage Izmir has been the region's commercial center all throughout the history. The origins of weaving date back to the ancient period in Denizli, which is one of the major cities of Aegean region. Culture of Ion impact is felt more in Usak city, which is known for carpets and prayer rugs. Textile industry has been for fact that human beings need for dressing; with the following time it has become the vital branch of industrial output by our nation. In our country, during decade of 1962 to1972, large investments were made in the textile industry and exports began. In the span of 80’s -90’s, with the developments due to increase in the investments in the garment industry, sector has become even more significant for our region. Also, the most crucial raw material of textile industry is cotton. Because of the fact that being one of the most important cotton producing country, Turkey has an authoritative place in the world as we all know, the quality of Aegean cotton is reckoned worldwide. So, since the date of accumulation, due to given facts and geographic advantages, the textile apparel industry till date enjoys niche in the Aegean region economy.

So, in this vital-to-country sector of Textiles and Clothing (T&C), what significance EGSD enjoys? What benefits do your members enjoy?

EGSD is formed by union of companies from many different branches of the Clothing industry. Now it has nearly 200 members from varied fraternities such as knitted/woven RMG producers for domestic and export markets, manufacturers of clothing auxiliary materials and accessories, organic fabrics and garments makers, textile machinery makers as well as wholesalers, and the fashion designers. Our association is being invited by Undersecretaries and various Ministries to the meetings for suggesting various measures and policies. Thus, we enjoy opportunities of giving direction to policy makers during emergence of various laws and policies related to apparel sector. Domestically and overseas too, we are working in collaboration with many institutions, and various activities are held throughout the year by our association for the members. EGSD is working for the strengthening of the textile and apparel industry in the Aegean region by organizing education activities at large. We organize trips to study new markets abroad and participate in national and international fairs. The production of 70% of bridal wear industry is in city Izmir. In order to ensure the opening to the world of the bridal wear industry, we contribute to organizing of the IF Wedding Fashion Fair in Izmir, which will be held for the 6th time in 2012. We are also organizing Wedding Dress Design Contest along with the fair for three years now. To give our members educated work force we collaborate with the universities and professional schools. In order to increase production and exports, we develop solutions regarding faced bureaucratic obstacles. To sum up, we constantly seek new-innovative ideas in betterment of industry in general, and prepare our members for the future growth.

Please share about strong points of Aegean Textiles and Clothing.

Aegean Region’s cultural as well as its geographical proximity, is also very close to Europe. EU market, directly determines the overall performance of Turkish exports of garments and apparel sector. Exports of Aegean Region in line with Turkey are major to EU countries. As discussed, cotton- the backbone of the industry worldwide, is strength of the Aegean region for being popular for its quality. The export of RMG of Turkey stood 14.6 billion ABD dolars in 2010. It has seen 10.1% of growth compared to 2009. RMG and apparel exports has a share of 12.88% in total exports. It is in the second place after Automotive Parts and Supply Industry (15.29%) sector. Adding to our advantages, there are the textile and apparel engineering, design schools viz Aegean University, Dokuz Eylül University, Izmir Economy University, Pamukkale University, Usak University, amongst others in our region. Major share of Aegean demographics is young, educated and skilled.

Working on which impeding areas, can gear the sector to still high-performance course?

The sector has to work on developing new types of high-quality and special niche products, and also on augmenting share of technical textiles particularly in knowledge-intensive products. Besides, bringing more sustainable approach viz. savings in the use of energy, water, chemicals and raw materials, supporting recycling and re-use and environmentally friendly production, will definitely help industry make strong foothold amidst competitions.

How is your organization participating in the areas of skill and techniques up-gradation across the sector?

We promote the interests of our members in matters allied to Research & Development and Innovation capabilities, as well as in reconstruction that result from domestic or international mergers. We also attempt the required realization of investments in modernization to promote the interests of our members on these issues and support their marketing and promotions.

Which all trade fairs are convened by EGSD?

Our association is supporting IF wedding Fashion Fair – Wedding dress, evening gowns and suits fair since six years, and in the advisory committee of the fair determines the targeted market countries, invites the professional buyers to the fair. Since 2008, our association is working on the project of OFI – Organic Fashion Izmir. Regarding the OFI project several workshops are held in Denmark, the last workshop and conference was in Izmir. In order to open up new markets, we with our members take part in various apparel fairs held in Europe and the Middle East. We believe in the importance of specialized fairs for openings to the new markets. Exhibiting in this kind of specialized abroad fairs provides our members to key new horizons.

We are in the start of 2012. With what spirit has the industry entered in New Year? Can you provide us a chart or graphical presentation on Aegean exports growth world wide for past 2 years?

Turkey and Aegean Exporters Union

Export Figures (1000 ABD$)


 20092010Percentage(%)
General Export in Turkey102.142.613113.685.98911,3
Ready made garments export in Turkey13.301.70414.644.15310,1
Ready made garments export in Aegean Region907.4591.040.85014,7
Total export in Aegean Region6.383.1438.695.46936,2

Turkish manufacturers have the potential to be competing with Italy with the advantage of producing high quality and reasonably priced goods. The vision of Turkish apparel market is to increase its share in world trade with its high value-added, innovative, competitive and high technology production.

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Published on: 23/01/2012

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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